Sunday, July 27, 2014

Work Progress with CEVI and Vision Fund

I have shared how I am doing and traveling in Tagbilaran city, Philippines, for already two months. However, I have not talked in detail how my working task as tenure is progressing here.  In short, my goal is to plan and conduct an impact assessment on recovery project, or Bangon loan project, of which the objective is to help victims recover from typhoon Haiyan, called Yolanda in Tagalog.  First, I conducted a log-frame as a management tool used for designing, monitoring and evaluating the projects. Then, I planned out a project timeline for activities to achieve the project’s goal which are 1) validating CEVI’s data collected in the course of business (i.e. credit committee recommendation, Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI), Child Well-Being Outcomes (CWBO) and Assistance Received data) 2) Collect and monitor Interim and Final credit committee recommendation, PPI, CWBO and Exit survey 3) Conduct Impact assessment (survey questionnaires) 4) Conduct Focus Group Discussions (FGD) for parents and children and 5) Conduct a case study.  The clients/respondents for this evaluation are composed of those in five typhoon-affected branches: Sara and Balasan in Iloilo Island; Ormoc, Dulag and BayBay in Leyte Island.
Cluster meeting in Sara

We are ready!
Local small boat

Until now, I have validated most of the existing data to provide some suggestion and improvement for future evaluation, including planned out the appropriate time-schedule in order to conduct an interim monitoring. Therefore, the most important task that I am currently doing is to conduct a pilot test on a survey questionnaires and FGD which I, and my working partner, Tessa, have constructed. We will do a pilot test during cluster bi-weekly meetings.  The cluster bi-weekly meeting is when clients in each village gather to pay interest for their loan and for Bangon loan; clients must pay interest twice/month.

Last week we went to Iloilo Island to conduct a first pilot test. I must say the way to go to Iloilo Island is quite exhausting. We must take a Ferry to Cebu Island first and then take a flight to Iloilo city, taking 3-hours bus to Sara and another hour on bus to Balasan. That is nothing compared to what I would tell next!

This week, Typhoon Rammasun (Glenda) hit the Philippines. Fortunately, Iloilo Island has been affected only by a heavy rainstorm. The first day the typhoon hit the island, unavoidably, we had to be off work for that day.  However, the next day when the storm was less severe, we rode a small boat to visit a cluster meeting on several islands around the mainland. After leaving the shore for about ¼ of the way, the sailor said that we must go back since the wave is too strong and we have too many people in the boat!  Honestly, that moment I was shocked and just prayed to God.  After island-hopping for two days in Sara and Balasan, we finally completed the schedule we planned.  What I really appreciated is that when we conducted a survey questionnaire and FGD, all clients were willing to participate. Some of them were really excited to talk to me since there are not many foreigners visiting these areas. I really cherish every smile I received from them.  I have tried to conduct FGD myself, even though I still relied on a local staff for translation, it was very fun trying talking with them. Next week, I and Tessa will travel to Leyte Island to conduct second pilot test. I am looking forward to more knowledge and exciting experience to come.

Last but not least, I have cooked some Filipino local food which are Chicken Adobo and Corned beef with shredded cabbage. I am not a good cook, but I hope it looks good enough to try!

Chicken Adobo
Corned Beef with Shredded Cabbage

1 comment:

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